I is for Infected

I

In the popular television series The Walking Dead, zombies are never, ever called zombies. Mostly they are called walkers, though other groups of people use other nicknames for the undead menace. In the spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, zombies are called ‘infected.’

I forced myself to watch episodes of Fear the Walking Dead yesterday, along with the season 2 opening episode. It still sucks. How can the same people that produced The Walking Dead produce this dreck? (Pardon my Yiddish.) They seem to have forgotten how to create compelling characters. Or they outsourced the character-creation job to some elderly Hollywood hacks.

Think of The Walking Dead, which from the first was centered around Rick Grimes. He was working for the Sheriff’s department and got shot in the line of duty. He woke up in the hospital, with no one around him except walkers. As a man with a wife and a child his first goal is to find his family. It’s a setup for a legendary epic struggle.

Fear the Walking Dead, on the other hand, starts of with a slew of stereotypical Los Angeles characters. The central ones are two school teachers— yeah, people who stay in school for their career and don’t know much about the real world. Each of the teachers is head of a fragmented family with one or two out-of-control teens. Neither parent seems to have been effective in training values or responsibility into the kids. These two families are connected by the fact that the parents are in a LIS relationship (cohabiting.)

This sounds more like a family melodrama made for the Lifetime channel than a zombie epic. Worse, after having watched the whole first season and the start of the second, I haven’t made an emotional connection to any of the characters, except for a vague interest in the junkie. They don’t seem like people to me, they seem like cardboard.  And the zombie menace doesn’t seem as real in this series, even the characters haven’t perfected their zombie-killing techniques.

What about you? Have you watched Fear the Walking Dead? Are there any characters YOU connected with? Do you think the characters will improve over time?

This is a post in the Blogging from A to Z challenge— yeah, I missed a few days. But I’m hoping to get on track now.  If YOU are also participating in the challenge, please give me your blog URL in a comment and I will visit you.

INFEC†IOUS: Left-Behind Apocalypse meets Zombie Apocalypse

infectious2In my endless search for something new (and relatively cheap) to read, I came across INFEC†IOUS by Elizabeth Forkey. The basic idea was to combine a Rapture-based End-Times apocalypse as in the famous Left Behind with the currently trendy zombie apocalypse. Zombie-ish, anyway. Elizabeth Forkey’s blog.

It follows the story of Ivy, a teenage Christian girl living in a Christian enclave, surrounded by zombies. The zombies are not Walking Dead type zombies— they are alive, physically at least, but infected by a disease that rots their bodies while they are yet alive. Only acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior can save them— but the majority of zombies want nothing to do with Christ.

Ivy goes through teen-girl stuff including a highly inappropriate romance, tries to keep the faith, and suffers a tragic loss. And when the book ends, her story will go on as there’s a sequel.

There are flaws in this book— many lapses in proofreading including unnecessary apostrophes, which I call ‘apostrophe atrocities’. And yet Mrs. Forkey pulled me into her story and kept me hooked in spite of the flaws. There is significant (Evangelical) Christian content in the book which helps balance out the teenage angst. I would recommend this book to anyone whose church teaches the Rapture theory of the End Times.

For Catholics like myself and for Christians from other churches who don’t accept the Rapture doctrine there may be some concerns about recommending the book to the theologically unsophisticated. But the answer, I believe, is not to reject Mrs. Forkey’s book, but to become better informed on one’s church’s teachings.  I list some books below for those wanting to be Rapture-knowledgeable.

All-in-all, I consider this book a great summer read for teenagers and the young-at-heart, and essential reading for those who love zombie fiction and/or End Times fiction.

Another Review of INFEC†IOUS

Questions: Do you read zombie fiction? What’s your favorite zombie novel? What about Christian End-Times fiction? What do you think of the idea of combining the two?

 

Rapture books:

Tim LaHaye: No Fear of the Storm (Evangelical, pro-Rapture)

Dave MacPherson: The Rapture Plot and The Incredible Cover-Up (Protestant, anti-Rapture)

David B. Currie: Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind (Catholic, anti-Rapture)

 

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